"Going green" is more than a slogan – for many, it's a way of life. If you're building or remodeling your home or business facility, there are several easy ways to help the environment. While eco-friendly building materials may cost more up front, having more efficient materials at the core of your home or business can lead to lowered energy costs and make up the difference – and more – in a matter of years.
Some of the most popular eco-friendly building supplies include the following:
Wood. When it comes to lumber, there are a variety of green choices available today. Recycled or reclaimed wood is great for cabinets and doors, while treated lumber (a less toxic version of regular lumber) works great for outside decking and railing. Plastic composite lumber, a half-and-half combination of wood fibers and waste plastics, is more durable and rigid than conventional treated lumber and more resistant to rot and mold. Furthermore, fast-growing bamboo can be used to create beautiful flooring.
Recycled materials. Eco-friendly building supplies lurk in plain sight – most of the time, you can't even recognize them as such. That's how it is with recycled materials like glass, which can be mixed with concrete to create everything from countertops to walls, floors, etc. Also, a combination of polymer and rubber that imitates slate can be applied to roofing to lessen weight and reduce the need for maintenance.
Lighting. Consider installing high-performance windows with a low-emissivity coating. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these windows can reduce energy loss by as much as 30% to 50%. They can also help you save every month on heating and cooling.
Insulation. When your home is better insulated, it will keep in the cool or heat – and keep it out too. A variety of selections exist when it comes to insulation, including vacuum insulation panels, concrete-insulated forms, structured insulated panels, and rigid foam.
Others. While not exactly eco-friendly building supplies, there are many ways to conserve water in your home through upgraded appliances like energy-efficient dishwashers and washing machines, and the installation of low-flow toilets, faucets, and shower heads. In addition, consider a tankless water heater. The less water you use each month, the lower your monthly utility bill.
If you ever need recommendations for going green, Roto-Rooter can help. Specifically, our ROTOGreen program provides the expertise and knowledge you need to upgrade your residence or place of business with more energy- and water-efficient fixtures.